Translation: Again on that Roadway | Ahmad Faraz


Phir Usi Rehguzar Par Shaayad – By Ahmad Faraz

Translation: Again on that Roadway – By Aashish Vaidya




फिर उसी रहगुज़ार पर शायद

हम कभी मिल सकें मगर शायद

Phir usi rehguzar par shaayad

hum kabhi mil sakein, magar shaayad

Again on that roadway, maybe

We’ll bump into each other, maybe.



जान-पहचान से भी क्या होगा

फिर भी ऐ दोस्त ग़ौर कर शायद

Jaan pehchaan se bhi kya hoga

phir bhi ai dost ghaur (गौर) kar, shaayad

When is mere acquaintance enough?

But friend, be keen, just in case.



जिन के हम मुंतज़िर रहे उन को

मिल गए और हम-सफ़र शायद

Jinke hum Muntazir rahe unko

mil gaye aur hum-safar shaayad

For whom I was waiting all along

They’ve found another fellow traveller, maybe.



अज्नबिय्यत की धुँद छट जाए

चमक उठ्ठे तिरी नज़र शायद

Ajnabiyat kii dhund chat jaa.e

Chamak uthe tirii nazar shaayad

Hope the fog of unfamiliarity lifts,

Is that a glint of recognition in your eyes, maybe?



ज़िंदगी भर लहू रुलाएगी

याद-ए-यारान-ए-बे-ख़बर शायद

Zindagi bhar lahuu rulaaegii

Yaad-e-yaaran-e-bekhabar shaayad

Am I doomed to shed tears of blood

Due to forgetfulness of friends? Maybe.



जो भी बिछड़े वो कब मिले हैं ‘फ़राज़’

फिर भी तू इंतिज़ार कर शायद

Jo bhi bichhde hain cab mile hain “Faraz”

phir bhi tu intizaar kar shaayad

Separated friends ’Faraz’ don’t ever meet

Even then, hope that they do, maybe.


Notes: This simple ghazal by Ahmad Faraz, interestingly turned out fairly difficult to translate.  Since the translation had to maintain or convey the same sort of simplicity in phrasing, while catching the nuances as well.  As usual ghazal translations are hard to translate the rhyme (qafiyah).  So, I only maintained the refrain (radiff).

This ghazal was rendered very melancholically by Jagjit Singh.

Phir ussi rehguzar – Jagjit Singh

And here is another version by Ghulam Ali.

Phir ussi rehguzar – Ghulam Ali


Six of Spades: A City Symphony

Day 23 of NaPoWriMo.  Today was all about taking chances.  The prompt was to find a deck of cards (any type), and draw a card and then free associate and write for 5 minutes.  Being lazy enough to locate a deck of cards in the house, I drew a virtual card from an online site.  I drew a six of spades.  I like stream of consciousness writing.  Of course, after the 5 minutes, there was more work to stretch and organize the words that spilled out.  Can’t say if the result turned out great, but the process, at least, was fun.

Six of spades 
As in spades, as in droves. 
Droves of doves perched on banyan trees 
Droves of doves, crows, sparrows and their kin - 
bringing up the raucous section of the woodwinds. 

Outnumbered pedestrians avoid walking under the trees, 
spilling off the footpaths and 
mixing in with rickshaws, scooters, cycles, cars, and cows 
all flow through the streets 
as multitude of horns honk and beep, 
add brass to the woodwinds. 

Sun sets against the district court - 
as plaintiffs, defendants, and lawyers stream out 
adding their chorus to the cacophony. 

Sun casts long shadows across the lake 
Boaters paddle and propel their oars on the lake 
The sloshing and thumping 
adds rhythm. 
Lantern-lit food carts dot the lake, 
Across the street at the music venue, 
Crowd gathers for tonight's event 
Inside the concert hall,the strings come online - 
And now, the noisy city symphony is in full swing.
But, we will end with 
the same words as we started, 
Not sure what any of this has to do with - 
Six of spades.

Actual Text:

Six of spades In spades is droves Droves of Doves on banyan tree raucous and loud in the evening setting sun soft light traffic high cyclists and rickshaws and cows and cars and end of the day  people with business from the court family disputes lawyers in black robes food carts and the lake with boaters and music college with students of music concerts one way traffic.